In this study, three high-resolution gridded rainfall datasets, viz., Integrated Multi-Satellite Retrievals for Global Precipitation Measurement (IMERG), Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications 2 (MERRA-2), and Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Networks (PERSIANN) have been collected, analyzed, and compared against the ground-based observed rain gauge datasets of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) of the Bagmati river basin from 2001 to 2014 in the Bihar State of India. Comparison analyses were performed at daily, monthly, seasonal, and annual time scales. Various statistical parameters, contingency tests, trend analysis, and rainfall anomaly index were used for comparison of datasets. Though MERRA-2 had the highest probability of detection (POD) and lowest false alarm ratio (FAR), analysis showed that IMERG data were closely matching with the observed data, whereas MERRA-2 and PERSIANN underestimated the extreme values. For the monthly scale, again IMERG had the most optimal Coefficient of Determination (R2) and Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) values. IMERG also performed well in detecting rainfall trends and identifying wet and dry years. Overall, IMERG was the most suitable dataset at all time scales for future studies in the basin.
Gridded rainfall datasets of IMERG, MERRA-2, and PERSIANN can be used as the substitute for IMD rainfall data in relatively ungauged and data-scarce regions of the Bagmati river basin.
IMERG datasets have the potential to be used for real-time hydrological and climatological studies.
IMERG performed best in cumulative distribution function, trend analysis, statistical evaluation, and box plot analysis.